Organic Natural and Then Some

In this section you will find out about some ingredients that might be found in personal lubricants, intimate lubricants as well as intimate moisturizers. (You should note that – anal lubricants/lubes – are NOT monitored for contents/ingredients as they are currently exempt from evaluation because anal lubes/lubrications are non-regulated products.) 

Before we go onto that , the following information we believe is very important because if medicine is now being administered via the vagina due to faster uptake into tissue and blood cells, we all really need to be asking ourselves what effect will lubricant ingredients have on me once inside me rather than topically (on external skin surface).

WE believe whether ingredients fall into – the good the bad or the ugly categories – they all need listing for the sake of health and well-being. With that in mind we shall be searching and listing information so you can better understand what is behind a name.)


(American journal of advanced drug delivery et al)

The human vagina represents a potential, accessible space that offers a valuable route for drug delivery. Intra-vaginal drug delivery is particularly appropriate for drugs associated with women’s health into the blood stream and/or tissues. The vagina is one of the best routes for drugs administration like contraceptives and HRT, metronidazole, anti-retroviral, etc. An intra-vaginal controlled release drug delivery system is an effective means for achieving a continuous delivery. The advantage of intra-vaginal drug administration over traditional oral administration is the drug is absorbed systemically due to the presence of dense network of blood vessels in vaginal wall. A range of drug delivery platforms suitable for this administration are (vaginal) gels, tablets, pessaries/suppositories and rings. 

In alphabetical order, a brief background for contemplation on some ingredients used in personal/ intimate lubrications and personal / intimate moisturisers: 

Aloe Vera: 

First used as far back as BC (before Christ) they (leaves/gel) were associated as being ‘fixers/holders’for Myrrh – used to hide the stench of dead decaying skin. First documented – Mark 15-42-46, John 19-38-42 & Deuteronomy 21-22-23 – Christ’s body was wrapped in Aloe leaves and Myrrh. Thereafter we heard of it’s topical use on the skin for mild burns.

What’s in Aloe Vera leaves/gel/juice ?

Pharmaceutical studies broken Aloe Vera down into information we can easily understand. 

Active components found are:  vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic, including 2 x hormones as well as acids and amino acids.

Sugar : It provides monosaccharides (glucose and fructose ) and polysaccharides: (glucomannans/polymannose) and mannose. These are derived from the plant and are known as mucopolysaccharides. The most prominent is mannose-6-phosphate, and the most common polysaccharides are called glucomannans [beta-(1,4)-acetylated mannan]. A prominent glucomannan – Acemannanhas –  has also been found. 

2 x Hormones: Auxins & Gibberellins.

(Journal of Dermatology: A Surjjushie, D G Saple, R Vasani.)

Caution : You need to know this !

Part of the Liliaceae-Alliums Family : Meaning people allergic to garlic, onions,  hyacinths, lilies and tulips can be allergic to Aloe Vera without being aware that they are. With 300-500 plants out there the only sure way to find out if you or your partner is allergic is taking a test via your GP. As Aloe Vera are usually grown minus chemicals an allergy is possibly due to – the extraction processes and/or what gel/juice is then mixed with.

Dr. Sandy Skotnicki – Dermatologist commented:

“People often assume a ‘botanical (plant)’ product means it’s good for them. But it is a skin product in any formulation made from plants for therapeutic, flavour or fragrance properties. What’s also confusing is whether skin break outs are the result of an allergy or an irritant reaction. The rate of irritation reactions to them are widespread. Irritant contact dermatitisreactions can be quite uncomfortable, setting off fairly immediate redness, burning, swelling and itching.”

Dr C Cobb – specialist in women’s health and skin care. APRN – Chatham, Walden, A E Centre, shared the following:

“Aloe Vera has been the subject of study regarding claimed therapeutic properties. Some studies have shown that it may help in abrasions and burns”.The NCCAM further added: “There is not enough scientific evidence to support Aloe Vera for any of its other uses.”

Citric Acid 

The versatility and non-toxicity of citric acid are its main positive characteristics. It is accepted globally as ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS) and has been endorsed by the FAO/WHO committee. It cuts across various industries for various applications and is a more expensive ingredient to use.

(Grewal & Kalra  The Life Science Journal et al). 

Coco Betaine

Is a natural surfactant derived from coconut and often confused with Cocamidopropyl Betaine, a completely different betaine.

Coco Betaine is quite similar to Lauryl Betaine in that both are zwitterions or inner salts, both can be derived from plants and both are presumed harmless.

Coco Betaine has the lowest possible score (with the EWG) of 1 – not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful. A similar surfactant would be Lauryl Glucoside, which is derived naturally from glucose and is considered safe for both humans and the environment.

Decyl glucoside (Or: Alkyl Polyglucoside)

What is Decyl glucoside

Derived from palm kernel oils, corn sugars or coconut.It is a type of alkyl glucoside, which is formed by mixing alcohols and sugar or glucose.

What Decyl glucoside does in products

Decyl glucoside is often used as a surfactant.And can be found personal care products and other products.

How Decyl glucoside made

Commercial production of decyl glucoside and other alkyl poly glucosides first began in 1893 by reacting glucose with anhydrous ethanol to produce ethyl glucoside. It is the product of condensing decyl alcohol with a glucose polymer.

(Grewal & Kalra .The Frontiers in Life Science et al)

Lauryl Betaine :

A clear or light-yellow liquid which is derived from vegetables, first discovered when it was extracted from sugar beet.

In chemical terms it’s a zwitterion, or more commonly referred to as an inner salt. It has the molecular formula C16H33ClNNaO2 with it’s CAS number being: 683-10-3. It is also known by the following other names:

(1) Laurylbetai (2) Lauryldimethyl Betaine (3) Lauryldimethylbetaine and 

(4) Sodium Dodecyldimethylbetaine. 

Lauryl betaine is usually used as a surface agent, or surfactantwhich are compounds used in personal body care products to lower the surface tension between 2 liquids or between a liquid & a solid.

Is it safe?

The Environmental Working Group give lauryl betaine the lowest possible score of 1 for ‘Overall Hazard’. They deem it (though they state there is currently only limited data) as not to be potentially toxic or harmful to human health or the environmental. It is not thought to cause allergic reaction therefore assuming any allergic reaction is thought to be as a result of another ingredient.

Is Lauryl Betaine natural?

The jury’s out on this, other than to say ‘natural’ means that it comes from something that already exists in nature. Man-made (synthetic) chemicals wouldn’t fit within the ‘natural’ definitionIt is indeed true to say that historically Lauryl Betaine was indeed first extracted from sugar beet, however with today’s manufacturing/production demands it is more probable that it comes from a synthetic source. If you’re using this as a defining criterium, Lauryl Betaine wouldn’t be considered ‘natural’ so you may want to keep this in mind next time you read ingredients. You could say – it can go either way.